Sarod maestro Arnab Bhattacharya's debut short, Life After Death is a visual treat
Each of his music compositions tells you a story that evokes myriad emotions. With the ongoing pandemic providing ample time at hand, Sarod maestro Arnab Bhattacharya contemplated turning one of his compositions into a moving short film in comic book form.
The sonorous short film titled Life after Death not only moves you with its lyrical pace but also transports you to your childhood with brilliant comic stills by renowned graphic artist Raunak Patra with whom Bhattacharya has collaborated for the film. We had a chat with Bhattacharya about the film and his forthcoming music projects. Excerpts:
What was the idea behind making Life after Death?
In February my album, Dark Inside released which had four unique tracks, each telling a different story. Like there’s Howrah Mail track and when you listen to that it seems as if you are sitting inside the train and travelling. Then I composed a nine-minute track when I got an offer to create a long musical repertoire which says a story.
But I felt somewhere it was getting a bit monotonous and hence I thought of giving it a visual effect and make a short film. Since I am not adept at directing actors or writing a script, I thought of telling a story through comic book stills. Raunak Patra agreed to collaborate and we created this during the lockdown period.
What kind of response did you get at the festivals?
It was incredible. The film roamed several festivals including the ones in Poland, Geneva, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Kolkata and Mumbai short film festivals.
What are the other projects you are working on?
There are three projects right now. One is an Indian classical music album with six-seven Indian ragas spanning an entire day. The second one is a world music album with global musicians from Geneva Conservatory, Durban, Mauritius, Uzbekistan and orchestral team from Johannesburg collaborating for the same. I am also writing the script for my next movie that I am planning to make for children.
Do you think live music shows will be a thing of past?
This is a bad phase and we are used to it now, but live performances will always hold a special attraction for the audience. Online shows can never give you the kind of feeling that you experience at a live show. You have all the performances of the legends on YouTube but you still buy the tickets to listen to them live. So, we should be hopeful that things will look up very soon since creativity can never be synthetic.